Under Georgia law, the parents of a child have an obligation to provide financial support. While the identity of the mother of a child at birth is usually easily ascertainable, this is not always the case with determining who a child’s father is. However, Georgia law provides a number of ways for the parents of a child to legitimate the child.
Marry the father before the child is born. Under Georgia law, the husband of a mother giving birth to a child is the presumed father of the child.
Arrange for the unmarried father to sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Form within one year of the child’s birth. A Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Form may be obtained from the hospital where the child is born or the local Probate Courts Office. The mother and father will need to provide personal information and sign in the presence of a notary, and the form must be filed in the Vital Records Office for the county where the child was born.
File a Petition for Legitimation in Superior Court in the Georgia county where the mother resides and arrange for DNA testing of the child. A parent wishing to establish paternity in the context of a child support obligation can call the Division of Child Support Services and open a child support case. After establishing a child support case with the Division of Child Support Services, a parent can have a petition for legitimation and obtain DNA testing at no cost.